Booth Blue bull calf is Christmas champion at Skipton
Lothersdale husband and wife Geoff and Margaret Booth presented a cracker of a calf to land the supreme champion’s crown at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas rearing calf show and sale, which attracted an 81-strong turnout. (Mon, Dec 5)
The Booths, of Dowshaw Farm, lifted the title with their first prize six-weeks-old home-bred British Blue-cross bull calf, by the Genus sire, Governor, out of a Holstein dairy cow. Given the nod by pre-sale show judge Robert Foster, of Wetherby, the victor went on to sell for the day’s joint top call of £520 to North Lincolnshire’s Nigel and Maria Mason.
Mr and Mrs Booth trade all their calves at Skipton and have previously successfully sold around 30 calves by the same sire at the mart. They run the Dowshawdale pedigree dairy herd and currently have 140 milkers at home, also farming both Mule and Texel sheep, with around 300 in the flock.
The adjudicator remained in the same show class for his chosen reserve champion, the second prize Blue-cross bull calf from the Sowray dairy farming family – brothers Shaun, Peter and Paul - from Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, who were the 2015 Christmas champions at Skipton and had sent out the title winner at all but one of this year’s previous four seasonal calf shows.
Their latest reserve, by another Genus sire, Gamin, was just a month old and sold well at £500, again to the Masons. The Sowrays were also responsible for the third prize Blue-cross bull calf, a Suarez daughter sold at £500 and another Mason acquisition, and the second prize Blue-cross heifer calf, by Dazzle, which made £480, top price in class, when joining brothers Malcolm and Stephen Abbott in Dacre, Harrogate. The Sowrays sold seven Blue calves in total at an overall average of £475 per head.
Fred Houseman, of Church Farm Enterprises in Burton Leonard, again sold some high priced entries, with his top-performing Blue-cross bull calf also achieving joint top price of £520 when again claimed by the Masons
A total of 13 bulls made over £400, with an impressive average of £401.75 for the 26 Blue-cross bulls sold, while Blue-cross heifers were also keenly sought, with four topping £400, producing an overall class average of £344 per head.
Mr Houseman sold one of his heifer calves at £460 to Samantha Asquith in Otley, with the nine Blue bull and heifer calves he consigned on the day again achieving a notable overall average of £423 each.
Robert Metcalfe, of Breaton, sold his first prize Blue-cross heifer at £450. The overall Continental-cross average was £375.83.
Native entries averaged £188 overall, peaking at £280 for a Lincoln Red heifer calf from David and Pauline Brown, of Ramsgill, with a Hereford bull calf from Tosside’s Trevor and Clive Robinson also catching the eye at £250.
In the black and white section, Friesians met with an improved trade on the week, selling to a top of £140 for a bull calf from RL Wright & Son, of Airton, with an overall section average of £61.90 per head.
A cracking consignment of eight well-fleshed Flekvieh-cross-MRI dairy bull calves from Chris Watson, of Horton-in-Craven, averaged £245 per head, with the same vendors also heading the Limousin-cross bull calf prices with a £330 sale.